Technology

Cybersecurity Demand Continues to Skyrocket: 4 Top 2019 Picks

Palo Alto Networks

This continues to be one of the most dominant players in the industry. Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW) is helping to lead a new era in cybersecurity by protecting thousands of enterprise, government and service provider networks from cyber threats. Unlike fragmented legacy products, its security platform safely enables business operations and delivers protection based on what matters most in today’s dynamic computing environments: applications, users and content.

Palo Alto Networks security platform has new features that were introduced to help security professionals overcome the distractions and time spent on problems caused by the overwhelming volume of alerts and manual processes associated with operating many discrete security products and, instead, expand breach prevention capabilities and boost operational efficiency.

Jefferies notes that the company has refreshed its entire product line in early 2017 and 2018, and as such it has benefited from those activities. Nonetheless, the company is expanding into the carrier market, which could serve to offset any softness.

The $296 Jefferies price target is well above the $277.76 consensus price objective. The stock closed Monday’s trading at $242.54 per share.

Splunk

This stock remains a top buy on Wall Street. Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) provides a software platform for collecting, storing, indexing, searching and analyzing machine-generated data, such as log files and configuration files, which are prevalent in every type of IT system, device and application.

Splunk technology is potentially applicable and disruptive in several market segments, including IT operations, security and compliance, and business intelligence. These market segments are collectively worth $28 billion today.

Jefferies notes that the company offers the de facto standard for security information and event management solutions. It also offers orchestration solutions for security operations, a new emerging category of products. Some 11% of respondents indicated using such orchestration solutions, and 42% indicated plans to employ them in the future.

Jefferies has put a $157 target on this stock. The consensus target across Wall Street is $152.71, and the stock ended trading on Monday at $127.91, down just over 5% on the day.

While the whirlwind around the top cybersecurity stocks has slowed dramatically from the pace of four or five years ago, the need still increases every year. These top stocks offer investors solid ways to play the sector in a multitude of areas.